Crude Observations

Missing Candy Bowl

Wow, is it November 1st already? Where has 2019 gone, it seems like only 10 months ago were celebrating New Years! At any rate, here we are, the day after Halloween, unless you are in Quebec, in which case it is Halloween. Or Chicago, where it’s the day before Halloween. Confused? Yeah, so am I. Blame the fossil fuel industry and climate change. On the other hand, we had snow yesterday morning and our typically frigid Trick or Treat fest, with the only timing issues being whether we started the journey at 6 PM or 6:30 and how the neighbourhood would react to the full-sized bags of hickory sticks we were handing out.


I have to admit it was a bit slower than usual at our house (maybe the kids thought the Quebec ban was to apply across the country) and some enterprising 12 year old stole a tupperware bowl that was on our porch holding candy bars (fill your boots kid – our doorbell recorded your misdeed and we have sent the video to Tupperware headquarters), but we roamed the neighbourhood and got quite the impressive haul, so all is well in Candyland.


All of which made me nostalgic for the old days trick or treating. Running around the neighbourhood like the hyperactive sugar-bombed little twerps we all were, tearing from house to house, especially the house that gave out full chocolate bars and cans of pop, avoiding the houses that had lousy candy, ringing the bell at the dark house just in case and generally plotting with friends about all the houses you were going to hit, many of which had nicknames. And well that’s what we’re doing today folks. A little trick or treating in my favourite energized neighbourhood. As usual, we tried to go to the usual houses that we know and love but also some new houses because like all life, we wanted to broaden our experience. And thanks to Quebec, it still qualifies as Halloween so I’m not late!


The House of Saud – Everyone knows this house. It’s the biggest house on the block and when the sun hits it right, you can see it’s made of gold. It’s the first one all the kids go to just in case they run out. There are always fancy cars parked out front and they set the tone for a lot of the other wannabes in the neighbourhood. Last year they were rationing treats and this year it seems they are being a little more generous as most of the kids ended up with Stock certificates which may or may not be worth any money. This year their lawn decorations are pretty cool, with a scale model of an oil processing facility getting hit by missiles.


The OPEC House – This house is next to the House of Saud but it’s not as big and much of its outside design is just a cheap copy. It’s even worse inside with furnishings that are old and rundown. That said, while not as well off as the Saudis this is still a good target. They generally have money and are often eager to please and are flattered when people show up at their doorstep. Usually good for some candy and a handful of loose change. If the line is too big elsewhere they are a good middle stop.


The Russia House – Let’s face it, anything from this place is bound to be a trick. Whether it’s talking about handing out less candy but then giving you a handful, stealing people’s mail or pirating your wifi, this is the house that everyone avoids because it’s weird, creepy and the bald guy who lives there scares all the kids. Plus they have a bear. And the bald guy is always, I mean always, wrestling the damn bear.


Ukraine House – No one is really sure about this house. The guy who runs it was apparently a comedian once. They aren’t really about the treats at this house but they are 100% in for the tricks, especially the dirty ones. This year they offered to tell me all the gossip dirt on my neighbours if I gave them some of my kid’s candy. Needless to say, I am now debating how to use the information to extort my way to a new fence.


China House – This house typically hands out loads of candy, except it’s all weird brands and super cheap. This year was more of the same, except they made us pay them a few pennies to get it, something to do with “tariffs” and for some reason also made us hold our phones up to some kind of scanning device which they said wasn’t copying our data, but now I feel just a bit uncertain about whether I am being watched.


Trump House (formerly known as the White House)  –  This house seems to be all gold on the outside but as you gat closer you realize it’s just painted orange. There is a sign outside saying kids will get “yuge” amounts of candy and treats, but most years it’s just the mini bags of chips, some half-eaten KFC and maybe a can of diet Coke except that on closer inspection, you realize that you have low quality Made in China, tariff exempt off-brand snacks that not even the dollar store stocks.  Combine that with the crazy old man with the orange skin and crazy hair who yells at you from inside and tells off-colour jokes, it’s easy to see why this place gets less popular as the night wears on. Late arrivers often see the man sitting in an enormous gold chair furiously typing into his smartphone.


Clinton Manor – Oy, well yeah you can get treats here, but it’s that weird and awkward house where the earnest old lady lives (who may or may not have a husband, but for sure has a cat) who tries to make too much awkward conversation and stands insistently in the doorway waiting for you to engage with her so she can give you a precisely allocated single candy (like nougat or caramel) and maybe a few pennies or a toothbrush. Plus, through the open door, the house smells vaguely of some kind of slow cooking food (if you’ve ever had a paper route and had to collect money, you know the smell). It’s all pretty predictable and you don’t mind stopping by on an annual basis as long as her crazy husband is out. Which really helps her out, because you just know she’s lonely as can be and wants to stay relevant in the neighbourhood.


Permian House – this place is where it’s at. There is a near constant party going on there and the music and lights are going at all hours although this year it all seems kind of forced, like they are putting on a show that they are struggling to pay for. In prior years, the line-up to get treats is massive, but again, this year it’s way less. As in prior years, the person who answers the door makes you do a trick before you get your candy, which is mainly to distract you from the fact that someone is stealing candy from the kid standing next to you and then giving it to you. Which is of course when you realize that every time you have been there, the candy bowl has been empty and when you leave your bag is lighter. And your UNICEF box is gone.


Trudeau House – we all know this place. It’s the one that tries too hard. Too many decorations, lights, skeletons, the whole nine yards. Every time the bell rings, the owner in full costume jumps out from behind a bush and more likely than not proceeds to take a selfie and compliment you effusively about how great you look and how awesome Halloween is before retreating back to his hiding spot to lie in wait for the next unsuspecting kid who comes along. It all feels a bit superficial and by the time you get your handful of candy corns and an IOU for a bucket of chocolate bars, you realize you might have been better off skipping this house.


Pipeline House – Only about half the kids go to this house mainly because every year for the last 10 the owner has put in an obstacle course to get inside. Last year, they wanted to give out candy but a bunch of the local moms applied to the city to get an injunction to shut just this house down, on the premise that the candy they were handing out was somehow more harmful than the candy at the house just next door. This year they have managed to lift the injunction but with all the protest signs outside, kids are forced to go to the side door, where the owner very sneakily will shovel piles of candy into your bag.


Climate House – this was a new one for us this year so it was fun to try something different. The young teenaged girl who opened the door seemed vaguely familiar. The candy she was giving out was all sugar free because, well, CO2 and we had to sit through a presentation on global warming, but she was very earnest and since this was a new stop, we felt obligated to be polite.


Oil Sands House – Five years ago this house rocked but it seems to have lost some of its mojo. Where once it was almost as madcap as the Permian House down the block, it is now much more reserved. You can still get some pretty good loot there, they are just slower to hand it over and it’s accompanied by a small lecture about how they weren’t being paid as much as everyone else and how that is unfair. This year, they were handing out hockey pucks and scale models of railway cars. On closer inspection though, it turned out that the hockey pucks weren’t rubber and when I accidentally put it down near my heat vent, it melted into puddle of sticky goo and wrecked my carpet.


Quebec House – Strangely not open – but there was a sign on the door that said Halloween was postponed until today, so you know how that works right? Exactly. Currently at the airport, in costume, on our way to Gramma and Papa’s house to do a little trick or treating Montreal style – that’s right, poutine and smoked meat, dumped right into your bag with a side of Chalet BBQ chicken (extra sauce). And here’s what to expect when you get there, a trick hypothetical question: Do you think that if one house has lots of candy it should share it with another house that has less candy but lots of poutine that it bought with a stolen credit card. When you hesitate, the owner slams the door in your face and shuts off the lights. As you leave, you realize that they have somehow managed to take half your candy while you were standing there and replaced it with a paper plane that has the word “Bombardier” written on it.


Natural Gas House – Everyone knows this house. It’s the one that starts the crazy rumours that this is the year they will have the dominant candy drop on the street. Big chocolates, bags of chips, you name it. Fabulous decorations. Then, by the time you get to it, the porch light is on, no one is home and there is a bowl full of those horrible toffee candies with the wax wrappers and a sign saying “please take one only”.


LNG House – these are the new kids on the block. They bought the empty lot beside Natural Gas House and share a laneway with Pipeline house and have just poured the foundation for a new build. Excited, you just hope that you won’t be too old to appreciate it when it’s done.


Ontario House – you want to go there, but you just can’t. The owner is the creepy yellow-haired guy who laughs too much. No one is really sure if he’s an actual clown or not. And no one wants to find out. Because he’s kinda scary. Rumour has it that last year he handed our warm no-name beer. Shudder.


Green House – Not to be confused with Climate House next door, this is the house that the hipster environmental couple rents. They have two vehicles, a Subaru wagon with a Bernie Sanders sticker on it and a subsidized Tesla SUV. There’s a Greenpeace sign in the window. These two are rarely home since, as they told you once, they are often flying off to important conferences in exotic locations around the world to discuss how important it is to stifle the fossil fuel industry anywhere that rule of law allows them to protest without being jailed. They are handing out organic hemp and stevia candies that you furtively toss into their xeriscaped garden.


Alberta House – this house used to be painted orange with red and blue trim, but now it’s a dark shade of blue with just the tiniest little bit of orange. You have heard that the nice lady who used to live in this house has been replaced by new owners, and that the candy being handed out is likely going to be cut back drastically this year. As you approach the house you are a little apprehensive, but think how bad can it be. Then some kid tells you that all you are going to get from this house is a lump of coal so you beat a hasty retreat. Maybe they’ll get it together next year.


Budget House – This house has the cheapest decorations on the block and there are no lights on. There is a bowl on the porch but it’s filled with wrappers, chewed gum and a couple of half-eaten lollipops. There is a sign tacked to the door that says “sorry kids we’re broke” but then you happen to get a glance into the living room through an opening in the curtains and see a group of men in suits sitting on sofas, smoking cigars, drinking cognac and laughing hysterically as they throw tax returns and dollar bills into the fireplace. Terrified, you step slowly away.


BC House – This is the most expensive house on the block and is right next door to Alberta House. Note as I said, it’s not the biggest house, just the most expensive. It’s actually quite small, but for some reason the current owner decided to pay three times market value to buy it. The plan is to tear it down and replace it with a slightly larger house that they will then resell to another sucker. They are perfectly happy to give you some candy, but insist on getting a cut of your entire evening’s haul, which is only fair, because you insist on running a hose across their lawn.


#Wexit House – Best to avoid this one. It’s rumoured the owners are crazy.


Ovintiv House – or is it Encana House? Or Otrivin House? Who knows. All I know is it sounds like a pharmaceutical company specializing in bowel disorders. They used to fly a Canadian flag but now it’s the Stars and Stripes. But Canadians, please don’t despair, rumour has it that everything this house does backfires, so whatever they are doing should be taken as a positive for Canada.


Cannabis House – This house was a big deal last year, all flashy and cool. This year, it appears they may have taken a step back, but they are still trying. Your mom has already told you not to take the gummies from here, but how bad can they be?


My house – Ah, this one is the best. It’s where I get to retreat and relax. We give out the best candy and, as mentioned earlier, full-sized bags of Hickory Sticks. Sometimes when we aren’t home the bowl on the porch is empty but if you are patient, it will be refilled. So don’t steal it. Sheesh.


Prices as at October 25, 2019

  • Oil prices are up for the week.
    • Storage posted an increase week over week
    • Production was flat
    • Rig Counts: Alberta up by 2; US down week over week
    • Natural gas storage above 5-year avg
  • WTI Crude: $56.06 ($56.64)
  • Western Canada Select: $36.06 ($39.66)
  • AECO Spot: $2.75 ($1.7542)
  • NYMEX Gas: $2.572 ($2.312)
  • US/Canadian Dollar: $0.7598 ($0.7654)



  • As at October 25, 2019, US crude oil supplies were at 438.9 million barrels, a increase of 5.7 million barrels from the previous week and an increase of 12.8 million barrels above last year.
    • The number of days oil supply in storage is 27.9 compared to 26.1 last year at this time.
    • Production was up slightly for the week at 12.600 million barrels per day. Production last year at the same time was 11.200 million barrels per day.
    • Imports increased to 6.697 million barrels from 6.167 million barrels per day compared to 7.344 million barrels per day last year.
    • Exports from the US fell to 3.327 million barrels per day from 3.683 million barrels per day last week compared to 2.485 million barrels per day a year ago
    • Canadian exports to the US were 3.758 million barrels a day
    • Refinery inputs rose during the during the week to 15.998 million barrels per day
  • As at October 25, 2019, US natural gas in storage was 3.695 billion cubic feet (Bcf), which is 1% above the 5-year average and about 18% higher than last year’s level, following an implied net injection of 89 Bcf during the report week
    • Overall U.S. natural gas consumption rose 2% during the report week.
    • Production was flat for the week. Imports from Canada rose by 5% from the week before. Exports to Mexico rose 1% for the week
    • LNG exports totaled 51 Bcf
  • As of November 1, 2019, the Canadian rig count was down 5 at 142 (AB – 99; BC – 10; SK – 28; MB – 3; Other – 2). Rig count for the same period last year was 191.
  • US Onshore Oil rig count at November 1, 2019 is at 691, down 5 from the week prior.
    • Peak rig count was October 10, 2014 at 1,609
  • Natural gas rigs drilling in the United States was down 3 at 130.
    • Peak rig count before the downturn was November 11, 2014 at 356 (note the actual peak gas rig count was 1,606 on August 29, 2008)
  • Offshore rig count was up 1 at 21.
    • Offshore peak rig count at January 1, 2015 was 55

US split of Oil vs Gas rigs is 84%/16%, in Canada the split is 69%/31%


Trump Watch: Impeach this sucker

Kenney Watch (new!)Defending the budget

Trudeau Watch (for balance): Pretty quiet – went to the Governor General

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